Welcome to our Anniversary Blog by resident blogger Jake Hope. Jake will be reading and reviewing all of the past CILIP Carnegie Medal winning books during the anniversary year. We are also asking shadowers to "Adopt a Book" and join in reading and discussing the anniversary titles in their shadowing groups.

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"The four of them stood just inside the door, huddled together, staring out, getting used to the storm and the darkness. There was a slice of moon well up in the sky. It seemed to be speeding behind grey lumpy clouds, running away from something that was chasing it."


Carnegie winner: 1985
Author: Kevin Crossley-Holland

Isolation is ever-present in Storm, the shortest novel to win the CILIP Carnegie Medal in its 80 year history.  The ford in the marsh is geographically isolated in the story.  Annie is isolated as she is considerably younger than her older sister, Willa, who is married and expecting a baby.  Willa herself is also isolated as her husband is a sailor away at sea and unlikely to return in time for the birth.  This helps to set the scene and build the oppressive intensity of the encroaching storm.  The sense of isolation is increased when the storm finally hits, taking out the telephone line and leaving Annie and her family without contact with the rest of the village of Waterslain, two miles away with Willa’s baby due imminently, the situation begins to look desperate.

Help arrives in the form of a rider on a horse, who offers to carry Annie to the village and notify the doctor.  With winds ensuing and fear of the local lore about a ghost at the ford, Annie sets out into the night… 

Every word is carefully crafted in this hugely evocative and accomplished story.  The writing is spare, but the strong and pervasive bonds of family, landscape and lore come together, powerfully emphasising influences and impacts on personal identity.

A short, spare piece of writing that effortless achieves nuanced meaning in its exploration of the impact and effects of a storm on a rural family and which uses this as a metaphor for storytelling itself with gradual escalation, crescendo and eventual release. Profound comment is made through all manner of contrasts that include light and dark, young and old, reality and imagination.


storm, ghosts /


Why we chose this book ...

"The shadowing group in the Library at MPS have chosen this book because it will appeal to both boy and girl readers. We have a small Library group so we have been able to source a copy for each participant to keep as an anniversary memento."